The recent surge in coronavirus cases in South Florida has forced Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami to close all summer camps at public parks starting this week.
The county announced the closures would start Monday and registration would not be accepted for future weeks while refunds would be issued for those who paid in advance.
Miami Beach is also closing the public camps at their parks Friday out of an abundance of caution.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said one child had tested positive at Henderson Park, two other kids had been infected at Coral Gate Park, and a counselor at Shenandoah Park also tested positive.
Alain Martin says his 7-year-old daughter Aily was sent home from a Miami-Dade summer camp after she had a high fever. He says she’s feeling better now, but they are still waiting for her test results over 10 days later.
Although he is a working parent with limited options for childcare, Martin thinks closing camps was the right move.
"At the end of the day if my daughter gets sick, no one’s gonna take care of her but me. It’s a double edged sword, unfortunately," he said. "I think it was a good idea to stop it."
Some private camps are still open. Miami-Dade’s Parks Department said they would continue to offer virtual experiences, which include camps online for arts, education, fitness and more.
According to the Florida Department of Health, among those tested since July 16, over 17% of children have tested positive for COVID-19 in Miami-Dade, and over 15% of kids have tested positive in Broward County.